And of course I don’t mean wind in THAT way, you silly person! 😉

Well things have settled into a nice rhythm here, and I am improving in many ways. I can now milk in 30 minutes, so half the time, and I can get 6 liters, 50% more! That’s milking expert to you, thank you very much. I like to think maybe Anna the cow likes me more, too.

I can tell I am getting stronger because I am not as sore when I wake up. Whereas the first week I spent mostly weeding out their raised beds/vegetable garden, this week I’ve spent in their “forest garden” uncovering strawberry plants that were completely taken over by grass and weeds. I wish I had taken before and after pictures, because the difference is huge! I used my iPod this week and listened to some Ecola class recordings, which have been really uplifting to me. It is neat to see how the teachings did, are, and will continue to work in my heart and teach me more.

I also listen to music sometimes while milking. In my slower days it took me the whole Les Mis soundtrack! Today I found Mumford and Sons have a great beat to milk to.

Last Sunday was my first day off, so the family took me to the nearest town where I could attend the local church. They had infant baptisms, hymns, a speech from the priest, and more songs. I stood when everyone stood and examined my hymnal, but of course everything was in Danish so I couldn’t understand what was being said. I found it curious and hilarious that the entering song the pianist played was “What a Wonderful World,” and the exiting song as people rose and filed out was “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

…???

I watched the infant baptisms curiously, as it’s a ceremony I’ve never seen before. And frankly, a ceremony I do not understand the purpose of.

But moving on… I walked a few blocks from the church to the bus station, where I found the bus’ credit card machine did not take Visa. So I had to walk to the closest bank for some Danish Crowns then wait for the next bus to Aalborg.

My plan had been to take another bus and then train from Aalborg to Skagen, a town several hours to the north and a place where you could see a visible line in the sea where the Atlantic and Baltic meet. But since I got into Aalborg at 3pm, later than planned, I decided to just spend the day sightseeing in the city.

I struck out from the bus station with no idea of what to see, and the complex of needing a Starbucks for wifi, but needing wifi to find a Starbucks! I visited the Danish equivalent of Subway and took my lunch to the promenade by Limfjorden, a river that runs through the city. While watching the boats and jet skis running around, I suddenly noticed a triple masted ship (or whatever the proper name is) gliding through the lifted bridge. Oh hello, yes. Just an everyday occurrence, no big deal.

After lunch I managed to find the Aalborg “visitor information center” – which consisted of two carousels of a selection of magazines and brochures in different languages tucked into the corner of an empty mall. I took a map in English (blessed understanding!) and found my way to the library, which was an island of familiar, soothing sights, smells, and sounds in the middle of a strange city. Not to mention they had free wifi and free bathrooms – my two new favorite things!

By the end of my 6 hour visit Aalborg didn’t feel so big or strange anymore. It wasn’t a particularly clean city, and it felt like everyone there smoked, but there were a few good sights.

● The Singing Trees
     A tradition in one of the parks that famous singers can plant a tree, and by it will be a post with their name, the year planted, and a button to listen to some clips from their songs. Started in 1987, it’s now a grove full of “singing trees” that has over 80 trees and includes Elton John, Bryan Adams, Sting, and many more. The most entertaining one was Victor Borge for sure. 🙂

● Aalborghus Castle
      Built in the 1500s. You could just walk in – no one was there and the doors to some rooms from the courtyard were left open for you to wander through and read the wordy signs. I didn’t stay long in the  tunnels – that’s something I’d prefer to see with someone else, hehe.

● Buldofi Cathedral
     With parts built anywhere from the 1400s to the 1700s. I got there after it closed, so I just admired it from the outside.

And of course I had to experience the local ice cream shop before getting on the bus back. The sun was setting as we drove west so I got a  great view of the countryside to take in. It seems like every building in Denmark, especially the older ones, is made of brick. The buildings are red brick, or brick painted over with white, beneath a red roof. My hosts said this may be due in part to the wind that is constantly blowing, moving windmills and ruffling the fields, so you need strong buildings.

Annnd that’s all, folks! Tomorrow morning starts my next day off, and my last week with this hospitable family before I head to Germany!

Hej hej! (Goodbye in Danish, pronounced hi-hi!)

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